More than 100,000 deaths later, Mexico does not agree on how to deal with a pandemic that will last for months before the vaccine will do the miracle for us. There are, however, people who propose five actions that could save lives long before we get to immunization. Actions unrelated to that governmental fetish that are beds with a respirator.
A person with decades of experience in managing infections, asking to speak anonymously, says that if private hospitals with successful management of Covid-19 patients are screened, it can be determined that they are not receiving anyone to whom they cannot offer all the protocol at your fingertips: care with sufficient personnel, instruments and medicines.
The equation, then, is not too complex. Private hospitals “do not die” so many patients, because they only accept those who can attend. Not one more. And as has been shown, despite the unpredictability of this coronavirus, the chances of defeating it increase if the sick are properly cared for.
On the contrary, public institutions are obliged to receive all those who demand their services. But in the best of cases they will have availability of spaces but not capacities equivalent to the private ones: to begin with, the staff of many of these hospitals is tired, depleted, because some were disabled due to age / comorbidities and others due to illness. And with regard to instruments or drugs, it is not even worth comparing what is public versus what is private.
Taking into account this panorama, where private hospitals serve a minimum population in percentage compared to public ones, the wrong strategy, adopted very early in the pandemic, that what you had to have were beds with ventilators remains to take a backseat. (These will be useless, insists the source, without sufficient personnel, instruments beyond ventilation and medicines). In other words, make them less available to public hospitals.
That alternative path would also seem not so expensive or so difficult. It consists of these measurements:
-Use of face masks.
-Regulate primary care: many patients are aggravated because they initially went to a pharmacy or a general practitioner and were told that “they did not believe it was Covid”, they were prescribed antibiotics for an ordinary infection, creating a false perception of zero risk, preventing patients become isolated, generating a failed expectation of improvement. The consequence is obvious: not only will many get worse, making their management more difficult and recovery more unlikely, but along the way they will infect other people.
-Create more diagnostic centers such as Banamex, where appropriate and timely channeling of cases is received.
-Education and community action.
Mexico City seems to have understood the above: the use of masks is promoted, many more tests are done, and there are mechanisms for channeling patients.
This is not the time to complain about whether the turnaround in the capital is late or not. But it is insufficient. Emphasis should be redoubled on the use of a mask (going out on the street is witnessing how much we lack for everyone to use it properly), only go to medical or diagnostic centers where symptoms are not minimized, and return to prevention as an issue of the entire community.
As long as there is no vaccine, and there is still a need for that, we must try to make sure that the least need a bed. Because the private ones are full, and in the others the staff is giving a very uneven battle.